Schooling for 11th Hour Racing Team
Published on November 6th, 2019
Having entered The Ocean Race 2021-22 in the IMOCA 60 Class, American Charlie Enright and his 11th Hour Racing Team is learning how to sail this offshore flyer in the doublehanded 2019 Transat Jacques Vabre.
He’s got the boat formerly named Hugo Boss that made its debut at the 2015 race, and he’s competing with race winner Pascal Bidégorry (FRA) in the 14th edition of this 4350nm test from Le Havre, France’s to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. Here’s their update from November 6, 2019:
With 11 days of racing behind them, 11th Hour Racing Team is in contention for a podium finish as the IMOCA fleet approaches the equator, though their strong showing thus far runs counter to the tempered expectations expressed prior to the start.
“We’re just hoping to finish and get as much information on our boat out of this as we can,” Enright had said, but they have been full-on despite a few setbacks, including the lack of connectivity for several days preventing the duo from getting proper weather reports.
More recently, the team was assessed a 1.5 hour penalty for inadvertently breaking the seal on the boat’s engine a day out from Le Havre. Following race protocols, Enright and Bidégorry immediately photographed and reported the incident to the race officials at the time and the seal was replaced.
Race officials then assessed a 1.5 hour penalty after deliberations — a penalty that 11th Hour Racing served per race rules before crossing the equator – dropping from third to fifth in the IMOCA standings during the suspension of racing.
The past day also included the boat hitting something with the keel, a sail going overboard, and an engine that overheated.
“We checked with the endoscope, no damage,” said Enright of the keel. “Then we lost a sail over the life lines, luckily it was tied on well, then the engine overheated, had to change out the exhaust system, while this was happening, we broached in a 30 knot puff and tore our A3. Once we got that under control we came back to a dead-ship…oh yeah, and we saw a water spout.”
Enright and Bidégorry are now pushing on and extracting every bit of speed from the boat and their reserves from within — the equator just about a day away.
“It’s a drag race now,” said Bidégorry, as 11th Hour Racing dueled with other boats like Banque Populaire led by Armel Le Cleac’h and PRB with co-skipper Kévin Escoffier. “We’ve crossed paths several times with Banque Populaire under spinnaker and us under gennaker. Everyone is working out their own way.”
Arrivals into Brazil for the IMOCA class leaders are expected on November 9 and 10.